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#ROatExpoReal | Loredana Oprisa: Change invites new opportunities to unfold

Olympian Parks portfolio in Romania is currently comprised of four locations with land for future developments, these being in different phases of permitting. Bucharest, Constanta and Cluj add up to more than 330,000 sqm which will be ready to receive clients from light production and logistics areas. Loredana Oprisa – Leasing and Development Manager at Olympian Parks, summarizes the opportunities in the market.

How would you define the current business model and your strengths in the Romanian market? What are your plans for 2022-2023?

Olympian Parks is an expert in customized buildings having gained expertise through past projects developed and sold, be it units for frozen and temperature-controlled goods, production facilities or for light storage purposes. The e recipe includes Location, Location, Location and then permits, kind of funny but it really is this simple. Our focus is to find those locations that best represent the type of projects and clients we wish to attract. Currently we have in our portfolio 5 locations from which 3 are undergoing the permitting process. We have just obtained the PUZ for our park in North Bucharest and we are focusing our resources to deliver the 1st Phase of 30,000 sqm in the 3rd quarter of 2023. We also added to our portfolio new land in Constanta – Palas industrial area, where the focus will be on small units suitable for in-city logistics. Besides these two projects we are still interested to develop our project in Cluj and 2023 will be the year we do so.

An article part of the cover story in TB 111 magazine – “Oradea: Business Next Level & LifeNouveau” available here.

What transformations were determined/ are necessary due the challenges of 2020 and the current geopolitical context, how do tenants and potential clients respond to them? Are there opportunities in this market conditions?

Many opportunities arise in times of chaos. 2020 and now the geopolitical context, teach us just that. We are traversing times that we would probably not have thought of before. We observe that clients are looking closer at their business plans, learned to be more flexible and remembered what is like to be human in times of conflict. The pandemic has brought light to mental health and more flexible working spaces and the war has united us in a way that maybe was not possible otherwise. The new circumstances help us have more flexibility in negotiations, on both sides and being more solution oriented as partners when difficult situations arise. Both events show us that we can excel and create great things when we unite.

What are the main strong points of the Romanian market and your current development plans for Bucharest and the regional cities in Romania? What type of new formats and new locations are you considering?

The Romanian market is very attractive still as it has a lot of potential for improvements and new developments. If you are an investor and look at the numbers, it is clearly shown that there is space and opportunity to enter the market and turn out a big success. It takes a bit of getting used to, getting to know the local regulations and the right experts that can be of a real value if one wished to also act fast and efficient, but I assume it takes a bit of getting used to with any new market conditions. Infrastructure is slowly moving towards a more western state, emphasize on slowly, availability of land is another great asset for Romania, as in many other markets this can be a challenge, we are looking at Greece for example and it is quite difficult. In terms of formats and new locations it is pretty simple we are looking at those cities that still have potential and demand, where our clients need us to be. Also, we target secondary cities where there aren’t many class A developments present and projects that are needing longer timelines in order to be ready for development – for example in cities where infrastructure is lacking but have other important factors present, hence we can buy land and developed it in the future.

Which technological innovations are shaping new developments and how is your company responding to the focus on ESG, sustainability?

We all love to think of a safer, more profitable, and greener future. The markets seem to have stabilized and found new and improved ways to make it work in terms of supply chain disruptions that created chaos during the pandemic.  These new ways help us foresee a much brighter future, yes, still challenging at times, but we are all more prepared to tackle each day as it arrives. We think of the future as a safe space, a space where we can breathe clean air and continue to enjoy nature as it was created while we continue to develop a successful business. For this purpose and more, we, at Olympian, are looking into ways to reduce our carbon footprint as much as possible, we are looking to use the rooftops of our future developments for solar panels, we are looking at ways to decrease energy consumption and we are involved in different communities where we can bring awareness over the importance of a greener lifestyle, plant trees and support different groups that contribute to the wellbeing of our communities. We are also consulting different experts on the green certification process and how we can be sure to obtain the highest scores possible for our parks.

What are your thoughts considering the e-commerce sector, Small Business Units, and the readjustments of supply chains in the region and in Romania, what do you expect in terms of legislation, support, and state policies to nurture the further development of industrial/ logistic sector?

Considering the total global value of e-commerce market, which was just under $ 5 trillion in 2021, I consider this sector to be getting a lot more of our attention. E-commerce has pushed all of us to innovate, be creative and act fast not only for short-term purposes but also long term. It is the sector that has given way to the concept of in-city logistics, as providers desire to be closer and closer to their customers and so the location analysis has spread to areas that not too long ago were considered to be inappropriate for logistics. Taking into consideration that most of our projects are designed to accommodate businesses from 500 sqm up, I believe that Small Business Units are representing the beginning of a long-term partnership between developers and tenants. I say long term partnerships as most small businesses that start with 500 sqm, grow and so we grow together which makes this even more interesting. We are also constantly in touch with local authorities looking to find more suitable and fast solutions, we follow the pace of processes, and we are confident in the projects we chose to develop, sooner or later. Infrastructure will always be a key topic for industrial developments, so any progress is bringing more benefits. Also, for the way of designing our cities, instead of just giving out building permits, we recommend a thorough analysis for the entire areas and the long-term impact on the communities.


25 years of activity in Romania

Olympian Parks has been actively operating and trading in Romania since 1997. The development journey began in 2003, with the construction of the first Industrial Park in Domnesti, on the southwestern outskirts of Bucharest, the group’s activities have mainly centered on the industrial real estate market and related services. In 2005 Phoenix commenced the development of Mercury Logistics Park and joint ventured with Helios Properties UK, a major British industrial developer to form Helios Phoenix to undertake industrial developments across Central and Eastern Europe. During the period 2006-2007 Helios Phoenix established joint ventures with GE Real Estate and Cal East Global Logistics for industrial developments in the Central and Eastern European region and agreed forward funding sales with CB Richard Elis in Eastern Germany and Heitman International in Romania. In 2010 Phoenix acquired the Helios share of the Joint Venture thereby increasing its stake in Helios Phoenix to 98% and remains active in the Romanian Property Development Market progressing the various industrial and residential developments of the Joint Venture. In 2019 Helios Phoenix embarked on a new joined venture with M1 Real Estate and formed Olympian Parks Management to further develop and manage the industrial portfolio. In 2021, which was probably the biggest transaction of the industrial market, Olympian Parks sold its income producing assets to one of the biggest developers in the region. Overall Olympian Parks has transacted more than 500k sqm of built units together with land to be developed.

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